How to Update Apple TV tvOS Software
The new Apple TV models have many improvements and features that make it a great addition to a television and living room, but to get the most from the new Apple TV you’ll want to be sure you regularly update tvOS, the system software that runs on the device. Updating tvOS is simple enough and there’s actually an option to handle it for you automatically as well. For the purposes here, we’re going to show you how to manually update your Apple TV tvOS software so that you can be sure to have the latest version with the latest features.
Updating tvOS is most easily achieved through the Apple TV itself by doing the following, you’ll need the device to have an active internet connection for the tvOS update to download and install properly.
How to Update tvOS on Apple TV
The latest Apple TV updates easily through an Over the Air mechanism on the Apple TV itself:
- Open the Settings app on the Apple TV and go to “System” and look under Maintenance
- Go to “Software Updates” and choose “Update Software” and wait until the Apple TV update downloads
- When you’re prompted about the tvOS update being finished downloading to the Apple TV, choose “Download and Install” to start the installation, the device will begin the update process and you’ll see a progress bar indicating how far the update process is, when finished installing tvOS update, the Apple TV will reboot itself automatically into the latest version
This applies to the 4th generation and 5th generation Apple TV, and presumably later versions of the hardware as well.
Updating Apple TV Software on 3rd and 2nd Gen Hardware
Older Apple TV devices can update system software very similary:
- Open the Settings app on the Apple TV, then go to “General” and to “Software Update”
- Install any updates you see available with “Update Now”
The process is generally pretty fast, though it will depend on how fast your internet connection is since the tvOS update is downloading from Apple servers.
Another approach is to update tvOS manually through IPSW via iTunes, a USB cable, and a computer, but that’s a bit more technical and rarely necessary, thus whenever possible you should rely on the automatic update feature of tvOS, or update manually through the Apple TV Software Update mechanism as shown above.
Many of the Apple TV devices out there have updates available to them, particularly if they’re brand new and haven’t been updated yet, so if you just got a new Apple TV, be sure you check for software updates available, as you could be missing out on important features like the ability to use the Remote app on the iPhone as a keyboard input on tvOS.